RAMALLAH, Febuary 5 (JMCC) - Israel
announced on Friday a series of economic and other steps intended to support Palestinians, it said.
The incentives come just before a meeting of the Quartet - representatives of the United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia - planned for Saturday.
Israel has agreed to begin discussions on the development of a Palestinian Authority gas field adjacent to an Israeli gas field off the coast of Gaza, which need to be developed simultaneously. Future revenues from the Palestinian field will go to the authority, Mr. Netanyahu said. Read
Israel also agreed in principle to allow the development of electricity, sanitation and water projects in Gaza, including the introduction of desalination plants, with the intention of making Gaza “independent of Israeli infrastructure,” Mr. Netanyahu said. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
In addition, Israel is supposed to approve additional construction projects and new procedures for the controlled entry of construction materials into Gaza.
Among the proposals for the West Bank, Israel said that it would speed up the building process for schools and health clinics in Israeli-controlled areas and that it approved in principle the extension of the Palestinian Authority’s security presence to seven towns in areas under Israeli security control, a longstanding authority demand.
Israel also said it encouraged projects for the improvement of infrastructure in Arab neighborhoods of Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. The Palestinians and most countries of the world do not recognize Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state.
the story at the New York Times